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Missin’ Cousins 

The beloved duo return to Halifax, and The Music Room, on Friday

click to enlarge Cousins, back like never before
  • Cousins, back like never before

Symptoms of Cousins withdrawal include: listening to The Palm at the End of the Mind on a loop while poring over the Wallace Stevens poem "Of Mere Being" that provides the album's title, looking for possible clues and connections. Catching yourself singing the words to "Khyber" and "Secret Weapon" at the checkout or in your cubicle. Watching the colourful video for "Speech," where Cousins doesn't appear at all---instead friends mime drums, guitars and singing to joyful effect---and feeling a single tear run down your cheek.

Halifax's beloved duo has been touring North America since February, but is finally tucked safely in their own beds once again. Aaron Mangle says it's good to be home. "Last year, when we got back [from tour] I could have kept going, but this time we were pretty run down at the end. The other night in Montreal I had a shows you what kinds of energy reserves you need to have."

Mangle and Leigh Dotey's spirits were high throughout their travels, though, despite a temporary lull due to a van breakdown in Colorado. Having done a similar giant tour last year, the band enjoyed reconnecting with friends they'd met along the way. "We were lucky enough to play a lot of those places again," Mangle says, "and with the same bands again, in places like Boston and Chattanooga."

After a few days of rest, Cousins will harness those energy reserves to play The Music Room on Friday. The concert hall is an unusual venue for a band that has frequently had shows in living rooms and basements over the past few months. "We play quite loud and it can get a bit wild. It will be difficult to tailor the sound to a room engineered for beautiful acoustics...there will probably be some unhappy viewers," Mangle says matter-of-factly. "But we won't be changing our style." The professional environment doesn't faze him, though. "Maybe we can reach a few new people, maybe not. I'm excited cause it's going to be hard---it's going to be a challenge."

Cousins, Friday, May 11 at The Music Room, 6181 Lady Hammond Road 8pm, $10/$15


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